T Nation

Let's Talk About Accessories


Thank you for the great explanation. I at least got the supplemental right, with the back off sets. That’s probably about it.

Another person told me I just need more volume. Like 5x8 twice a week. Maybe some dips or Tate presses, dips kill my shoulders which I think is the weak link in the chain.

I will have to rethink my entire life now. :roll_eyes:


I just pick a weight and go unless it’s a bigger compound move and then I’ll often work up.


On occasion I do that too, especially if it’s something you’re very familiar with or your 3rd tricep set for the day


I just read thru your log. What is your opinion on OHP? Do I need to do it or would my time be better spent elsewhere? On more isolation/ assistance work on shoulders?


I like OHP. However as it relates to powerlifting I have no specific stance.

It’s a large compound lift so that’s always good. I don’t do it since it’s not one of the big 3 for powerlifting. For accessories it can be nice I just never do it heavy.

If you like OHP I say do OHP. If you don’t like it then don’t do it :slight_smile:


Fair enough. I am just not sure if I just don’t like the movement, or if I don’t like because it’s pathetically weak.

Seriously though, I know I’m an old, fairly skinny, chick and have only been at this for a few years, but I feel what I am doing really isn’t working as for my bench goes.

Even with some set backs I came back to the sticking point fairly quickly. I just can’t seem to break it though.

I am a big fan of …
If what you are doing isn’t working try something else.

My right arm stays tucked, but my left elbow will flair out. Not sure what I need to do to fix this.


Where’s the sticking point? How far off the chest? Does it pop right up to there and feel like hitting a brick wall, or is it a slow start?

Early left elbow flare could be a bunch of things. I’d say get an assessment on your shoulder alignment, scapular retraction, and lat tightness. For example: stand up straight against a wall, do both of your shoulders touch the wall? does one of them? if they both don’t, do they both stick out from the wall the same distance? What if you retract your shoulders, does this change? any side tighter than the other?

My right shoulder doesn’t retract as far as my left, it has a lot of forward pulling from the pec on it. So my right arm is the first to go crazy because maintaining positioning at heavy weights can become an issue.

So, I focus on getting my pecs loose and have recently started using a bowtie to help. Also my lats are always fubared so I try to get a massage at least once a month if not more often.

Got a recent bench video somewhere?


Slow off the chest and sticks at mid point. If I can grind it past mid point it goes up.

As far the shoulders they seem to be even on the wall. I have done wall slides but pretty sure something goes haywire on the retraction.



Based off the video, you’ve got some technique tweaks we can apply. First- you’ve got the bar set a bit too high. So when you take it out of the rack you’re lifting with your delts by pressing up. What would be best is if you can tricep extension out of the rack and pull it over with your lats.

Lones has a solid video on this:

Then when you’re holding the bar before the press, you’ve got the bar a bit closer to your face almost at a slight backwards incline. Move the bar just a bit further out over your chest so the barbell sits in line with your shoulder. ( if your shoulders are retracted back this will allow all the weight to sit in your back and not in your shoulders/chest )

When you touch the bar to your chest, your elbows end up behind the barbell, this means that when you go to press, you have to tuck the elbows hard to get them back under the barbell to create upward momentum. The solution to this is to tuck harder or touch slightly higher so the elbows stay in line with the barbell.

Your decent looks solid as far as speed is concerned, but when you touch your chest you are relaxing, stay tight and push yourself away from that bar as hard as you can.

Supplemental some 5s negatives to teach you maintaining tightness or some spoto presses could do wonders.

For accessory focus I’d say work on your lats, rear delts, rhomboids and some higher rep DB work ( naturally keep in your triceps, lateral raises, etc, but focus on the above )

With some small tweaks I think you’ll notice your bench going up.


Thank you so much for your help! Will do!


Keep in mind that @corstijeir is training for equipped (multi-ply) PL, benching in a shirt requires a lot more tricep strength than just about anything else and it doesn’t seem like OHP is too popular among equipped lifters. For raw lifting it’s probably worth doing, but not prioritizing it over bench and close variations. I stopped doing OHP for a while and my bench still went up, it stalled and I added back OHP (along with some other changes) and I started making progress again but not at an amazing rate either.

I was told by Josh Bryant, who coaches most of the top raw bench pressers at the moment, that if your sticking point is inn the middle it’s usually due to weak shoulders so OHP, incline, and direct shoulder work like front/side raises will be useful. There are some people who can’t do OHP due to shoulder issues so they have to do more of the other stuff, but otherwise a few sets once a week would probably pay off.


You’re absolutely right.

For anyone ( raw or not ) there’s no harm in some OHP. Especially in the off season. As you get closer to a meet you can always pull it out if you feel like it.

I don’t have a particular stance on OHP other than it’s cool as shit and wish I had a monster OHP.


Thank you for your help. I put OHP and Incline back into the mix on this last cycle so I will just leave them in. And add in an day extra for the shoulder work. That should work pretty well since I wanted to add the trap bar back in as well.
Thanks again!


What assistance do y’all like for deadlift?



Conventional, Sumo, strongman? Lol.

Honestly I’m with Donnie Thompson and believe in digging all your effort into your squat, if it increases generally your deadlift will too.

With that out of the way, hamstrings, glutes, upper back, quads, core, speed, and technique.

I’m not a fan of deadlifts past 5 reps unless as an accessory for hypertrophy at the end of a bunch of other things. I’m also not a big fan of going heavy on deadlifts every week.


I wouldn’t have a separate shoulder day, it doesn’t really make sense for PL. Just do OHP and whatever other shoulder work after benching.


Sumo. I can move a tiny bit more weight.
I am trying to get back to where I was this time last year. Not far off.
I signed up for three meets last year and couldn’t make any of them.
Food poisoning, my dad passed away, thyroid storm (I have mild Graves’ disease)

I’ll rearrange some things and add in more squats.


Sorry to hear about your father.

For sumo it’s all about technique for anyhow. ( well that and my hips being healthy )

So as a sumo puller your biggest breakdowns are usually upper back, quads for initiating the pull and hamstring/glutes for finishing the lift.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of erector, lat, quads, hamstrings and glutes and your deadlift should increase along with your squat. Assuming technique is solid.


Thank you.

I have much better leverages for pulling!


Okay. I will try that. Thank you